By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine
You can spend hours at the gym doing the wrong thing and get minimal results, or you can spend very little time at the gym and get amazing results. Pretty sure we know which one we'd rather do!
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So, we asked exercise brainiac Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., fitness research director at Quincy College in Quincy Mass., how we can get an effective workout in the least amount of time. We can't wait to try his three suggested routines -- none of which takes more than 20 minutes.
Instead of: Aimlessly roaming from machine to machine
Do this: Work complementary muscle groups, sans rest
For a quickie 15-minute strength workout, do 8 to 10 reps of shoulder presses, then 8 to 10 reps of lat pull-downs. Continue alternating until you've done three sets of each.
Repeat the alternating pattern with bench presses and rows, leg curls and leg extensions and tricep pushdowns and tricep curls. According to Westcott, this strategy is incredibly effective because you never rest, so your heart rate and metabolic rate remain jacked throughout the routine.
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Instead of: Jogging on the treadmill
Do this: A cardio circuit
For the biggest calorie-burning, metabolism-spiking punch, bop from one cardio machine to the next. Spend 5 minutes going hard on the stationary bike, followed by 5 hard minutes each on the treadmill, rowing machine and recumbent bike. According to Westcott, this will not only get your heart rate up (you'd need twice as much time to get similar results by simply jogging), you'll also hit multiple muscle groups for bonus strengthening and toning.
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Instead of: Doing cardio then strength, or vice versa
Do this: Combine cardio and strength into one workout
Westcott researched ways to help the U.S. Air Force improve on their fitness tests and came up with this plan: Do a strength move for one minute (as many reps as possible), followed by a minute on the bike (going as hard as you can). Continue, changing up the strength move each time (the bigger the muscle group, the better) for 20 minutes. If it's good enough for the military, it's good enough for us!
What's your favorite quickie workout?
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Photo Credit: Condé Nast Digital Studio